We know that paying for activities and attractions can soon add up. If you’re looking for cheap things to do in Rotorua, here’s our top tips for five of our favourite things to do for less than $50.
Tarawera Trail Water Taxi
Walk one way on the Tarawera Trail and book a water taxi back to the start for a cheap day out in Rotorua. The 15km trail has some challenging hills, but rewards you with beautiful views of Lake Tarawera, and Lake Rotomahana and the majestic Mount Tarawera volcano. When you reach the end of the trail, you can relax and enjoy a soak in the natural lakeside hot water beach, while you wait for your water taxi to arrive.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
A self-guided walking tour at Waimangu Volcanic Valley doesn’t cost the earth and provides access to a selection of walking and hiking trails through the geothermal valley. The trails wind through geothermal attractions like boiling springs, hot pools and steaming rivers, with stunning New Zealand native forest and wetland areas, it’s worth every cent! What’s more, included in your admission cost is a bus transfer back uphill to the top of the valley once you’ve finished your walk.
Wingspan Birds of Prey
Wingspan Bird of Prey Centre is a place where you can get up close with some New Zealand treasures like the threatened Karearea (NZ Falcon). A ‘progress visit’ to the new centre (it’s still under development) includes a flying display, where you can see the birds in training and learn about how the centre works to protect these beautiful creatures. Proceeds from the visits contribute directly to the conservation programme, so you’d be doing your bit for conservation at the same time.
Image: A falcon about to attack and catch a robotic Magpie (RoMagpie) in flight display at Wingspan. Credit: Black Stallion Photography
This stunning little nature reserve is tucked away just a 15 minute drive from the Rotorua CBD. Hamurana Springs is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle and reconnect with nature. The easy walk loops through towering Redwood groves and around crystal clear spring waters, with viewing platforms and information about the cultural significance of the area. Don’t miss the ‘Dancing Sand Spring’, as the name suggests, the spring water pushes its way to the surface, causing the sand to dance.
Mountain Biking in the Redwoods
Rotorua is one of the best places in the world to go mountain biking, and the city attracts the best riders from all over the world. If you have your own bike, access to the forest is free, or for less than $50 you can hire a front suspension bike for 4 hours. There’s heaps of trails for all abilities to explore in the Redwoods, grab a trail map or ask the locals for some top tips to join the trails together to make a loop.